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Wildcats split four games

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Down Rebels, Trojans; Fall to Carroll Gallatin

By Greg Woods

The Henry County Wildcats started the week with two losses to district rivals but came back to get big wins over Southern and Owen County to cap off a busy week of baseball.

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Gallatin Co. 3 HCHS 2

On April 16, the Wildcats hosted Gallatin County on a cold, windy day. It was the kind of day only a pitcher could love as the wind blew straight in from the outfield and turned several well-hit balls into easy fly outs. Gallatin County managed to eke out a 3-2 win in eight innings as Dylan Adams put in 6 2/3 solid innings and gave up no earned runs. Brad West finished the game and was the victim of an unearned run in taking the loss.

Gallatin scored first in the third inning when Adams walked the second batter after striking out the first batter of the inning. After a stolen base put the base runner in scoring position, he came around to score on an error making it 1-0.

The Wildcats tied it in the bottom of the fourth when Ethan Tuggle scored on an RBI single by Tyler Robbins. The Wildcats had runners on second and third with no outs but Gallatin County was able to escape further trouble.

Henry County took the lead in the fifth inning when Landon New walked and then advanced to third on a single by Ethan Tuggle. New scored when Gallatin threw to second on a steal attempt by Tuggle. The throw was cut off and relayed to home but New slid under the tag to make 2-1.

Gallatin County got a run back in the sixth on an RBI single after the second batter of the inning was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. The Wildcats faced going down in the game when Gallatin managed to get runners on second and third with two outs. West relieved Adams and struck out the final batter of the inning to give the Cats a chance.

Both teams threatened in the seventh with two base runners apiece but neither team could push across a run and the game went to extra innings. Gallatin County was able to score the winning run when their first base runner reached on an error and then stole second base. A groundout advanced the runner to third base with one out. The winning run then scored on a suicide squeeze play giving Gallatin their third unearned run of the game.

The Wildcats went down in order in the bottom of the inning and left the team feeling like they let one slip away.

“We got great pitching from Dylan Adams who gave up no earned runs in six-plus innings,” coach Stuart Dill said. Offensively, it was a tough night to score runs. Gallatin had a solid pitcher on the mound and the weather conditions were not really conducive for hitting with the wind knocking down any ball hit in the air. In those kind of games every play matters and there were plays we did not make that gave them some runs. We also made some base running mistakes. You just cannot afford to do that and come out on top in close games.”

Carroll Co. 10 HCHS 0

On Thursday night the Cats traveled to Carroll County to try and rebound from the tough loss to Gallatin County but little went right for the Cats as the Panthers got an easy win in five innings.

“It wasn’t our night,” Dill said. “Offensively, we hit about five hard balls for outs including one right at the second baseman who was out of position for a double play that killed a potential big inning. Pitching-wise, we have to compete better. We have got to make quality pitches and cannot afford to walk people, especially against a good hitting team like Carroll County.”

HCHS 16 Southern 2

After two offensively anemic performances the Wildcats traveled to Louisville and took their frustrations out on the Southern High Trojans on Friday night. The Wildcats pounded out 16 hits and had a total of 24 batters reach base.

The big inning came in the sixth when the Wildcats plated 11 runs on nine hits to put the game away.

Dakota Estes went the distance despite some early control issues and got the win. Estes struck out four and walked six. Tuggle and Robbins had big nights at the plate. Tuggle went 3-5 with three runs scored and three RBIs. Robbins went 4-4 with two runs scored and one RBI. New, West and Mason Fish also had multi-hit games.

HCHS 9 Owen Co. 1

The Wildcats got their second district win of the season on Saturday when they dismantled the Owen County Rebels with a solid all-around performance.

The Wildcats fell behind to the visiting Rebels in the top of the first when they got a one-out double followed by a walk and a base hit to bring in the first base runner. Wildcat pitcher Brad West got a big strikeout for the second out of the inning before the Rebels hit into an inning ending force out at second.

It stayed 1-0 until the third inning when Henry County struck for four runs. New led off with a base hit, stole second and advanced to third on a balk. West followed with a walk to give Henry County runners on first and third. After a strikeout, Mason Fish singled to plate both New and West who had stolen second base. Fish advanced to second on the throw to the plate and then made it to third base on a ground out by Robbins. Dylan Adams followed with an RBI single to left field.

Adams made the final run with good base running. He stole second and third and then came home when the catcher’s throw was high and sailed into left field..

The Cats’ hot hitting continued as they scored three more in the fourth and two in the sixth to go up by eight runs.

Meanwhile, West settled down and surrendered no more runs the rest of the way for the complete game win. He scattered four more hits through the final six innings while striking four. West’s only walk came in the first.

Dill was pleased with how the team responded over the weekend after dropping two big district games earlier in the week.

“Against Southern and Owen County we played our best all around games of the year,” Dill said. “We got good pitching, good hitting and better defense. I hope this trend continues.”